I've been debating writing this article and posting a picture for a loooooooooong time...so here it goes!
For months, I thought my postpartum body would one day would be smooth, wrinkle-free and no stretch marks. I told myself over and over, "once you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight" or "when your baby turns a year old" or even "maybe you just need to try harder and really push yourself and workout more".
Two babies, a lot of weight gained and lost and then gained and lost and now 21 months after my second child and I sit here finally, slowly building confidence in my post-baby body. Those stretch marks represent 18th months of pregnancy between my two children, 18 MONTHS is a crazy long time friends! 18 months of loving and cherishing my growing belly and babies inside.
My wrinkly belly skin still looks like thin crepe paper from a smashed pinata but that's okay. My ab muscles never came all the way back together after a 9 pound baby and that's okay too. The skin above my belly button hangs over a bit and even that's okay. The point is, I could stand and look at myself in the mirror everyday and body shame those "faults" or "imperfections" or I could accept them...but even more than accept I could grow to love them!
Instead of stretch marks I call them love marks. That saggy belly? For my 21 month old it's the perfect platform for blowing raspberries. And for those split abs? While they may never look like the royal Kate Middleton after her mid-drift was seen playing volleyball shortly after the birth of her son, I'm grateful that God has given me two wonderful, sweet and rambunctious fun-loving children who I get to call my own.
Being fit and desiring to be strong for our children are wonderful goals! The problem comes when we lose sight of the bigger picture and obsess ourselves into insanity over a "photoshopped" celebrity picture we see in the grocery store checkout. My kids already see enough of the body perfection craze in our culture and the last thing they need to see is that message coming from their Mom.
All that to say, thanks for letting me share a little bit of my own journey with you. Hugs!
Curious why I love supporting families as a Birth & Postpartum Doula? Visit Doula...What? You can also follow along on Instagram #DaybreakDoula or Facebook
Alyssa Moulton is a Certified Hypnodoula who loves supporting her clients from pregnancy through the postpartum time. Her goal is to help each client feel empowered and supported in their birthing decisions. When not serving as a Doula, Alyssa loves teaching youth and adult cooking classes! From Healthy eating and meal planning to homemade pastries and baking themed birthday parties, she loves seeing her student's learn new skills and feel empowered in the kitchen! Interested in learning more? Contact Alyssa for a free consultation.
Thank you Hannah for your vulnerability, wisdom and joy in sharing your postpartum story. Settling for "OKAY" isn't a solution. Getting a second opinion and pushing or answers doesn't make you weak. Follow your gut feeling ladies.
“I am going to get better!” My eyes flooded with tears as I spoke these words of hope, just a few hours after surgery, on this day last year.
The day Vivian was born, almost four months earlier, had been so joyful! Ian and I were filled with gratitude and thrilled to be starting the sweet journey of parenting, but the months that followed were not at all what we had anticipated.
Three days after my sweet baby was born, I broke out in hives all over my body... neck to ankles. My doctor let me know it could last up to three weeks -- it actually lasted for 13 weeks, and increased in severity until a couple weeks before it went away.
Along with this complication, I developed postpartum anxiety that made even routine activities feel overwhelming, impossible. I kept thinking, “I just need the hives to go away, then I'll be myself."
It was at day 5 of Vivian's life that my family realized that I was sinking into postpartum depression, and they began helping us daily in whatever ways were needed, calmly assuring me and just loving me and my little family.
I had other postpartum symptoms that are normal for the early weeks, but, instead of easing as they should have, they lasted for months. During this time, I continued going to the doctor... first for my 6 week check (where I was assured that everything was fine) and then again at 10 weeks and beyond.
For nearly four months I continued sinking deeper, with several more doctor appointments in between, getting no answers and losing hope that I would ever feel myself again.
I began researching more, and had known of one other person who had experienced similar symptoms, and hers had been retained placenta. So I went, once again, to the doctor and shared this with him and asked if I could please have an ultrasound. When the screen revealed what I had suspected, he said, "Yes, that is what it is." Many pieces of placenta which had started to calcify. Wow! I was so relieved and thankful to finally have an answer.
At 16 weeks and 1 day, I had an early morning surgery. I was so thankful to have my amazing, supportive husband by my side! Into the hospital attire, and an iv put in, they wheeled me down the hall and through the doors. Asleep and awake again in just an hour and a half. I felt groggy but comfortable, and returned home to such a great support group. I took a nap and relaxed.
Within a few hours I felt something was changing. My mind. The fog was lifting. I felt bits of joy, which I hadn't experienced in months. I had hope. “I am going to get better!” This was the start to me becoming myself again, but it wasn't overnight. It would be months before I could with confidence say that I was truly myself again, but instead of the daily decline, I sensed daily improvement. I cannot express what an amazing feeling this was!
Today I am reflecting on this with so much gratitude to God, to my sweet Ian for his unconditional love and support throughout, and to my family who poured themselves out for us during those difficult months, on a daily basis... thank you for loving us, lifting us, and helping us through the day-to-day. For cleaning our house, making meals, loving on our baby while I rested, for having faith that I would come through this and for building me up in my new mommy role -- giving me much-needed confidence. I am so grateful for all of your hours of care, your prayers and for your love!
One of the hardest parts of this struggle was feeling incapable of sharing this struggle with those outside my family. Also, the expectation I sensed that I should be "back into the swing of things", to be able to participate in outings and events, or even maintain any real level of friendship that others might hope for. Unfortunately, I know that I wasn't able to meet the expectations of some. It was work to just wake up each day and try to put one foot in front of the other.
I am so thankful for my dear friends who gave me love, grace and compassion; I will always be thankful for you! Even when I didn't have the words to express what I was feeling, you gave me care without judgment and your words of kindness and your patience were a vital part of my recovery, even when you didn't know what I was going through!
I felt like the anniversary of my surgery was a good day to reflect and share. To express gratitude to all who helped me walk this road. To give voice to the reality of postpartum depression, from my own experience.
“Be kinder than necessary, everyone you meet is facing some kind of battle.”
Think back to that moment when you first found out you were expecting! Maybe you just had "that feeling", had been trying for years, or perhaps this baby came as a complete surprise and you took 18 different pregnancy tests just to be sure (trust me Dollar store pregnancy tests are perfect for this lol). You then spend months decorating the nursery, picking out the latest in baby fashion and accessories, read all the right books, enroll in the best childbirth classes, interview different OB’s or midwives until your find your favorite, pick out the perfect baby name and then suddenly you're home from the hospital, have this adorable little human and you're alone and it’s that “oh crap” moment, “now what???” Maybe it's that feeling of I have this adorable cute little human but I'm not bonding with by baby, or I've had a traumatic birth, the sleepless nights are kicking in, the baby blues have hit and you might as well feel as though you have hit a brick wall. I just want to say it's going to be okay. I write this not as a Doctor or clinical therapist but as a Mom who has been there and struggled and as a Doula who loves supporting her postpartum clients and hopefully can share some things that can help in those early few weeks after having a baby!
Communicate Postpartum Expectations
One of the most important things in my opinion is communicating your postpartum expectations with your Spouse/Partner and other close Family and Friends! During pregnancy (not when the sleep deprivation and postpartum nerves are running high) is the time to talk about your vision for the postpartum time! Do you envision this time filled with family and friends or do you desire quiet and only a couple close connections. Are you expecting your spouse to be able to take off a set amount of time off from work or are they needed back soon after delivery. Do you envision breastfeeding or formula feeding? How do see yourself being supported both physically and emotionally? What are your expectations for household chores, meals and care for other children? Take some time to have you and your spouse each write down your own list of postpartum expectations. Now share them and work through any differences, striving to have unity. Doing this in advance will save you a lot of headache and frustration later on.
Setup Your Emotional & Physical Support System
Now that you and your partner are on the same page about expectations talk about your support system. Do you have friends or family willing to help with meals and keeping the house clean or do you plan to hire support? Most of the time friends and family are more than willing to help, but we Mom's like to be superhero's and don't want the vulnerability of asking for help! Believe me I was there! With the birth of my first friends had asked my husband if we wanted meals after the birth of our baby and my husband misunderstood what I wanted and told our friends we didn't want any help! This couldn't have been further from the truth and I am so grateful for the couple friends who looked past this and brought meals anyway! (Another reason to clearly communicate your postpartum expectations with your spouse or partner).
Baby Blues VS Postpartum Depression & Anxiety
The final thing is understanding the difference between baby blues vs postpartum depression & anxiety. If it's any consolation, baby blues affects approximately 70- 80 percent of all women. “Feelings of unexplained sadness and lethargy are quite normal, especially during the early weeks. That's because levels of estrogen and progesterone drop”, says Psychologist and Clinical Director Dr. Margaret Howard. She continues "At the same time, there is a rapid increase in the levels of prolactin, which enables milk production. Until these hormones balance out, new moms can expect to feel down from time to time." In addition to hormones trying to balance out, you're not thinking well from the lack of sleep, you are periodically stressed, plus balancing other kids with new baby bonding...the list goes on and on! The good news is: it's just the baby blues! You can expect to be feeling much better within a few weeks.
In contrast postpartum depression & anxiety affects 11-20 percent of women, is more extreme and persists beyond a couple of weeks after delivery. Warning signs include: feeling detached from baby, not enjoying the things that normally bring you joy, feelings of self harm or harm to others and feelings of anger. This is the time to talk to your care provider about these feelings, seek treatment and begin feeling well!
Postpartum Tips, Tricks & Other Resources
1. Continue taking prenatal vitamins & omega supplements while breastfeeding. Look for quality Omega-3'S with DHA. Garden of Life, New Chapter, Nordic Naturals are all great choices!
2. Make sure you are getting an adequate amount of vitamin D ~ Most new research suggests consuming 4,000IU-6,000IU but talk to your provider for an exact amount needed. High levels of vitamin help have been shown to reduce postpartum depression
3. Sleep! I know we think we're superhuman sometimes but our bodies really do need sleep and especially REM sleep the kind where we dream and our bodies repair our cells so we walk up refreshed and energized!
4. Connect with other Mom's! Facebook is great for finding support. Seek support from the Mom's who have been there before! And it's okay to vent and sympathize with each other too!
5. Exercise--talk a walk, get some sunshine, meditate, practice yoga, deep breathing, etc. Physical exercise releases endorphins (that happy hormone we all love). Some research has suggested that exercise both during pregnancy and continuing afterward reduces postpartum depression.
6. Make time to connect with your spouse/partner. Most likely they were pretty involved with the creation of this baby so be sure you don't leave them out!
7. Seek professional help if needed! It's always okay to seek help. When the feelings of depression persist or become more intense reach out to those professionals and begin healing.
Looking back on my two pregnancies I can see soooooo many differences. With my first, I was working a desk job, craved carbs constantly, did limited exercise and subsequently gained 60 lbs. If you know me, I'm a fairly petite person so gaining half of my body weight in 9 month was definitely not the best choice. My labor was also long, clocking in at 40 something hours.
Contrast with my second pregnancy, I was running running around chasing a toddler, still craved carbs but this time choose whole grain nutrient dense carbs, exercised regularly and gained a more reasonable 35 lbs. And my 2nd birth was powerful and fast with only 3 hours of active labor. With my first, I felt more lethargic, lacked stamina and could tell my heart was working harder than it should have been. With my second, I had way more energy, better muscle tone and mentally in a positive place!
While we may be unable to change our genetics there are a host of healthy choices we can make to increase our health before, during and after pregnancy.
Take inventory of the foods that you are using to fuel your body. What beverages are you consuming? Are you exercising regularly? Now is the time to make those needed changes! Providers like Midwife, Adrienne Brown, LDEM founder of Wasatch Midwifery & Wellness offer a preconception check to assess your medical history, discuss nutrition, track your fertility and ways you can prevent loss. If you have a goal to loss weight before your next pregnancy start now! If you are underweight talk to a Nutritionist about healthy ways to increase your weight and set goals for yourself. Find friends who will hold you accountable. Eat nutrient dense whole foods! Green leafy veggies, bone broth, plain Greek yogurt with fruit and granola, fruits, whole grains and seeds like brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, legumes and whole grains are all great choices! Protein from and omegas from wild caught salmon is another excellent choice providing immune boosting, bone building and heart supporting nutrients.
During early pregnancy the placenta forms where the fertilized eggs attaches to the uterine wall. The placenta is a vital organ providing increased oxygen to the baby, nutrients, a way to dispose waste and carries carbon dioxide away from baby. This necessary, life providing organ needs healthy nutrients from Mom to ensure baby grows and develops well.
Most providers agree Moms should eat an additional 300-350 calories each day during pregnancy. For some Moms, ice cream, frozen pizza and fast food may seem like a easy fast fix yet choosing nutrient dense foods help baby and her or her's placenta to grow properly and ensure the needed vitamins and minerals are not pulled from the Mom's own body. Talking to a health coach or Nutritionist is a great place start and I love cheering on my clients as they make healthy choices for themselves and baby!
During the first trimester, sometimes it's hard enough just to keep down foods let alone choose the right foods (hugs readers, I've been there ) One of my finest memories during my 1st pregnancy was discretely sneaking out my co-worker's empty yogurt containers from the mini garbage can by my desk because I couldn't stand the smell of yogurt and tossing them in a trash can faaaaarrr from my desk. (great memories....right???) In 2014 a study was published in NCBI showing how the inhalation of lemon essential oil significantly reduced nausea during pregnancy. You can also try eating small, protein rich foods snacks throughout the day to help balance blood sugars and keep the nausea in check.
Mom's who exercise regularly during pregnancy enjoy a host of benefits from reducing the need for a c-section, are less likely to develop gestational diabetes, experience a shorter labor, less prone to morning sickness lower risk of preclampsia and may even sleep better! Visit Fit Pregnancy if you need more reasons to keep up the workouts.
Ask the Expert?
Nutritionist and yoga instructor and founder of YIN Wellness Lauren Rodas, MS writes the following:
Research has shown that the lifestyle, exercise, attitude and nutrition choices made by women during their pregnancy have a direct, and often long lasting, impact on the health of both mother and baby. Additionally, babies whose mothers take good care of themselves while pregnant are more likely to have a positive pregnancy experience, an easier delivery, faster recovery and better overall health.
Poor eating habits by moms during pregnancy have been shown to slow the growth of the fetus as well as contribute to the development of long term and often irreversible health issues for the child including obesity, raised levels of cholesterol and blood sugar. A recent study by the Harvard Institute of Public Health found that 95 percent of women who consumed a nutritious diet had healthy babies. In contrast, 65 percent women who ate mainly junk food had premature, malnourished, functionally immature, or stillborn babies. Research also supports that what women eat while they are pregnant helps shape their babies taste buds to crave those specific foods throughout life.
Be kind to your body, now isn't the time to be super woman! Continue eating nourishing foods and if breastfeeding consume an additional 500 calories (choose well). Talk to your provider on appropriate exercises and when it is safe to resume them after baby is born. Enjoy this time as you bond with baby. Don't hesitate to ask for help or consider hiring a postpartum doula to support you during this time.
Regardless of where you are in your health or pregnancy journey we all have to start somewhere. Join an exercise class, find a friend who will hold you accountable in your health and fitness goals , connect with health coach or talk to your OB or midwife about ways you can improve your health and well-being.
~Alyssa Moulton is a Certified Hypno-doula who loves supporting her clients from pregnancy through the postpartum time. If you were to describe her in three words she would say calm, empowering and authentic. She is passionate about helping each client feel empowered and supported in their birthing decisions. When not serving as a Doula, Alyssa loves teaching youth and adult cooking classes from Healthy eating and meal planning to homemade pastries and loves seeing her student's learn new skills and feel empowered in the kitchen! She also hosts a bi-monthly Mom's Circle in Herriman as a way for Mom's to connect, grow and live in community with each other. Interested in learning more? Contact Alyssa for a free consultation. ~
Sure you've heard about birth doulas, someone who supports you physically, emotionally and educationally during the birth of your baby but what about Postpartum Doulas? What do they really do and can they actually make you and your newborn's life easier and happier?
1. Lower Rates of Postpartum Depression
Research has shown that women who had the support of a postpartum doula experienced a lower rate of postpartum depression that women who did not have the support of a postpartum doula. Doulas are also trained to see the signs of PPD which effect 1 in 5 women and offer resources and support to help you receive the care you need.
2. Postpartum Doulas are Mary Poppins in Disguise
While we can't promise your Doula will be blown in by the East wind with her black umbrella to your home, your Doula has received specialized training in newborn care and offers tips, tricks and soothing suggestions to help settle a fussy newborn as well as swaddling advice, sleeping suggestions, infant care and what to expect, breastfeeding and bottle feeding support and preparing for growth spurts.
3. Your Own Private Chef
Between a brand new baby, older siblings adjusting to sharing Mom and Dad, your recovery from giving birth and your spouse returning to work, eating wholesome and delicious meals often gets placed on the back burner. Using foods and flavors your family loves, your Doula creates healthy meals and snacks for you and your family to enjoy! Eating well after birth speeds recovery, increases your energy, supports a healthy milk supply (if breastfeeding) and improves your immune system.
4. Baby Feeding Expert
Whether you decide to formula feed, pump exclusively or nurse on demand, your Doula is an expert in newborn eating. She can offer suggestions on formula choices and different bottle options, help troubleshoot pumping concerns, work to solve latching issues and low milk supply and provide community referrals and resources as needed.
5. She'll clean your toilet
No one likes to clean the bathroom, after having a baby we're pretty sure that desire goes from Zero to Negative 100 after your baby's birth. There is something about having a clean house that brightens our spirits and promotes a feeling of calm in the house. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, organizing, she'll take care of it all so you and baby can rest in a clean, clutter-free home.
6. Call the Supernanny
Older siblings adjusting to the baby or a bored toddler? Your Doula gives advice on sibling bonding, entertains and tends your children while you take a nap , walks your dog and leads older children and toddlers in fun educational activities.
7. She'll Hold Space for You
Sometimes the greatest support is a kind and non-judgmental listening ear. Someone to help process the emotions of an eventful birth, hold space for you or help write down your baby's birth story. However you decide on how your Doula will support you, one thing for certain she is there for you!
Thanksgiving Tree in 2013
Hi lovelies, I just wanted to take a moment over here and just breath...you know how it gets between work, small children running all over, budgets and stressful family stuff? I know we all could add to this list... and simply pause... and breath... and hold a moment of space for gratitude and thankfulness in our lives. If you've been outside the house in the last month you've probably noticed the plethora of Halloween candy, big spooky blowups and now Christmas decorations, lights and big boxed toys in just about every retail store. Huge displays and aisles dedicated to both of these celebrations while Thanksgiving is barely offered a couple of turkey napkins in the corner of a display crowded with Santa and his Reindeer. I love Christmas and my almost 3 year-old can hardly wait to dress up as a pilot for Halloween and collect as much candy as he can, but this season before we become trapped in the vortex of commercialism let's "count our blessings" "find something to be thankful for" and "look outside ourselves".
Almost three years ago and a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, I was 9 months pregnant, a few days before my "due date" and hanging out with my sister who had flown in from Chicago to support me and my husband in the birth of our son. My sister had read THIS article by Ann Voskamp and described her beautiful and simplistic idea of a Thanksgiving Tree with barren sticks, twigs and little cut out paper leaves with words of thanks you write and hang on your tree each day. Ready to do anything that might help the baby come sooner than later we jumped (rather she jumped, I waddled) to the car and drove to a nearby park amassing ourselves a nice stick collection.
Over the next few days each of us would write something down we were thankful for. In that time of first-time pregnancy questions and concerns regularly racing through my mind the Thanksgiving tree encouraged me to take a couple minutes each day to pause, have a minute of mindfulness, pray, give thanks, speak truth to myself and simply breath.
So... pregnant...somehow my sister and I thought building snowman would encourage labor...10 days before Mr. W would make his appearance. Pretty sure the neighbors thought I was crazy.
A couple hours after Mr. W was born 9lb 2oz a mess of dark hair that would later turn bleach blond, exhausted but so in love with this precious little human.
Mr. W and Daddy. 3 week old.
With my beautiful sisters.
I love this list of questions from the Utah Doula Association on What to Ask A Doula! The UDA provides an encompassing directory of practicing doulas and the various services that they offer. Just like any provider or support person it's important that your doula is a great fit for YOU. Is she available during your due date window? Do your personalities mesh? What is her philosophy on birth? What services does she offer? Does she work with a backup doula? These Top 10 Questions are a great jumping point as your interview and meet local doulas.
*From the Utah Doula Association "Top 10 Questions to Ask A Doula"
1. Are you available around the time of my due date, and do you have any other clients due near the time I’m due?
Doulas are usually very schedule conscious and will respect you by being very honest about availability. Don’t be discouraged! If your potential doula is booked during your due date window, she can refer you to another available doula.
2. Do you have backup arrangements with another doula? May I meet them?
Doulas will often work with a few other backups, especially if due dates for clients are close together. On the rare occasion your doula is at another birth, a backup doula could be there for your birth, or both doulas could choose to work together.
3. What is your training? Are you certified and if so, through what organization and what did that training entail? If not, tell me a bit about your doula experience.
Certification can be a great way to network and keep current on birth topics. However, not all doulas choose to certify and my have other experience that equally qualifies them to work under as a doula. A personality and experience can sometimes trump specific certifications. You can choose according to what works best for you.
4. How many births have you attended?
This is important to some clients, however, remember that new doulas are often eager to learn and equally as committed as seasoned doulas.
5. Are you familiar with my midwife/doctor/birth center/hospital?
An effective doula will have a good rapport with any provider and facility she comes in contact with, and will maintain professionalism at all levels.
6. When would you join me in labor?
Your doula will usually join you at your request, and as all labors vary in length, you may need phone support for a period of time followed by in person support at your home, or your doula may meet you at your facility. Ask about fee differences depending on the length of service time; some doulas charge a flat fee and others provide service for a certain number of hours, an hourly rate after that time is exceeded, and some provide a cap on the total. When you know your doula is the right one for you, she will be worth every extra hour!
Be conscious of your chosen facility’s policies for check-in and if possible, pre-register so your transition upon arriving will be smooth and efficient in the midst of labor. Be sure to tell the nursing staff your doula’s name and approximately when she will arrive.
7. Are you familiar with the labor technique I am learning in my childbirth classes?
Most doulas are very familiar with variants of childbirth classes, and will appreciate and respect your learning curve as you navigate through the information necessary to create your birth plan and birth preferences. Hire a doula who is familiar with your chosen techniques and makes them a priority in your discussions about her role in how the birth could play out.
8. What is your philosophy about birth? Why did you become a doula?
This could be a long or short answer, and either is ok. You’ll find out so much about a doula by asking this! Each doula has her own unique path that directed her to a birth profession. Many doulas have a similar innate skills set, yet very diverse personalities and resumes. Your potential doula’s answer will let you know her commitment to birth and help you form a wise opinion about hiring her for your upcoming birth.
9. What’s your fee? Do you have a refund policy and what is it? What do your services cover?
Fees vary; there is no one standard rate for doula services. Newer doulas may charge less than seasoned doulas, but if you hire a newer doula, be sure to compensate her fairly. She will often put in even more time researching and preparing for your birth than normal, and deserves a big thanks. Some birth doulas will also provide post partum doula services as well, and provide a package rate.
10. Do you have any other doulas you could refer me to for interview? May I contact a few of your recent clients?
It’s a good idea to check a on a few references. Ask what they liked most about the doula and whether there’s anything they wished she had done differently. Again, remember that your doula is your choice. Finding a birth professional to help you during this exciting time could mean a few phone calls and interviews. Be sure to ask as many questions as you have, and in the end, to select a doula that feels right for you.
Don’t hesitate to add your own personal questions to this list, as well as prepare a short synopsis of your familiarity with birth, your past birth experiences, and your expectations of your hired doula.
We wish you all the best in your search to find the perfect doula for your birth experience.
As a doula and Mom of two sweet littles I love positive birth affirmations! There is something powerful when you take out the fear, anxiety, negative thoughts and dark emotions about birth and begin to speak TRUTH to yourself.
During my second pregnancy I wrote down positive affirmations on sticky notes and stuck them around the house. Maybe I'm a bit crazy.
But my house began to look something like this... I should have taken a picture but the lovely Meggan from The Birth of a Mother shared her awesome photo.
"My body was made for this!"
"Every wave of pressure brings me closer to my baby"
"God brings me peace"
"I trust in my ability to birth my baby"
"My baby will come into the world when she is ready"
"You are strong enough"
"God will give me strength"
These are also beautiful from Mother Rising
Grab some paper and start writing. Put these affirmations in a place you will see everyday. Make a birth affirmations banner. Put sticky notes around your house or in your car. Involve your partner. Have fun.
A question that DOESN'T often come up is "Can I switch providers during pregnancy?" It seems as women even if we don't love the care we are receiving feel obligated to stay. Think about the last time you were at a restaurant and the server asks, "how is the food?" Countless times I didn't love my dish but felt guilty for telling the server the truth. Perhaps you saw the same provider for a previous pregnancy or the women in your family have always seen the same Dr. The good news is that YOU are the one hiring your provider and YOU decide if they stay or go. Would you let an employee go if their work wasn't up to par or if they were going to do things the way they wanted to instead of talking to you? Absolutely! It's never too late to switch providers. Interview multiple providers, talk to local doulas, connect with birth forums in your community. If you are planning on a surgical birth find a provider who specializes in surgical birth, if you are planning an unmedicated birth choose a provider who loves unmedicated births.
Before you think you're the only one switching providers late in the game take a look at these quotes from The Unnecesarean
"I switched at 37 weeks. Best decision ever!"
"I switched at 35 weeks to a doc who really supported my vba2c - SOOO glad I did!"
"I switched at nearly 37 weeks. It’s easy for me to look back on this and see it as a moment of courage (and really, it was), but it also showed just how much I was ignoring my intuition throughout my entire pregnancy. I knew there was a more supportive VBAC OB/midwife group in town. I knew that my OB was wavering on his VBAC support as my pregnancy went on. But it had to get to the point where he literally pulled a bait and switch before I did my own switch."
Birth Advantage Doula Services recently shared this article on how to choose the right provider and I couldn't agree more!
I love this resource from childbirth educator and fellow doula Melek Speros from Birth Blissfully in Austin, Texas. Use her graphic to facilitate questions to your provider and confirm that you are on the same page. This is also a great list to consider when interviewing possible providers. Remember it's YOU who are hiring THEM! The ICAN group of Salt Lake and Utah County is also a great resource for education, support and advocacy for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.
Autumn Alyssa, CHD is a Birth and Postpartum Doula serving women and families from Bountiful to Provo in Davis, Salt Lake & Utah Counties